The Dene Nation has submitted a motion to Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett against Site C dam in BC.
The motion was passed unanimously at last months Dene Leadership Meeting in Inuvik, a meeting that focused on the affects of climate change in the North.
The letter states that the delta has been severely impacted by the Bennett Dam that was built on the Peace River in the 1960’s. Resulting in the loss of wildlife population due to low water levels, and the addition of Site C will adversely affect the people downstream here in the NWT.
The letter states that Dene Nation was never provided with the opportunity to speak at any of the hearings about this dam and that the construction of the dam is purposeless and not consistent with the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Energy Growth and Climate Change that was signed in March of this year, nor the Paris Agreement that went in to affect this month.
Dene Nation has requested the immediate halt to the construction. The dam is on Treaty land and those lands and waters are owned and protected by Constitutional Aboriginal Rights.
They are also requesting to start a conversation about compensation for the Bennett Dam and the loss of livelihood that occurred after its construction.
“Site C is a violation of our existing Treaty Rights. We’re under Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, and it’s in Treaty 8 territory. By law, they cannot go ahead and start constructing a dam without getting our permission. They do not have our consent, they don’t have our permission, so we’re going now to the province of British Columbia and the Federal Government and we’ll let them know where we’re at and we’ll do everything in our authority to prevent this dam from being built,” said Dene National/AFN Regional Chief Bill Erasmus.
Here is Erasmus talking to CKLB earlier this month about the decision to intervene with the construction of Site C.